Printed travel guides go digital

Thinking of visiting the iconic Sultan Abdul Samad building in Kuala Lumpur? Pick up a copy of ‘KL The Guide’. — Photo by Bluedale Publishing

BLUEDALE Publishing is taking steps to digitalise its travel guides.

In a media statement, the company with more than 14 years of experience in publishing, said it strove to make travel guides more and more accessible.

Bluedale’s first title KL The Guide was devised when publisher Lyndon Yap went on an overseas trip and found that travel guides were being distributed for free.

He wanted to create something similar for travellers to navigate through Malaysia’s capital city with ease.

Today, Bluedale has become a reliable source of essential local travel information, all for free.

The focus of these travel guides is solely to provide content that travellers did not know they needed.

“Our travel content allows readers to learn about something they have never experienced or known before. For example, how Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa first started out in Kampung Baru, ” Yap shared.

Based on World Bank data in 2019, Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) was US$364.7bil while a total of 26.1 million international tourist arrivals were recorded, proving that the tourism industry was thriving prior to Covid-19.

Despite the pandemic, Bluedale continues to work towards providing valuable information for future travels when it will be safe to visit Malaysia.

The company also understands the need to expand its product to other states, hence the collaborations with state tourism agencies to provide similar guidebooks for Melaka, Johor, Taiping, Tawau, Tambunan and Keningau, among others.

Currently in the works are Johor The Guide, Hulu Selangor The Guide, and Perak The Guide, which will be available in the near future.

Meanwhile, Klang Valley 4 Locals – previously titled Travel 4 Locals – is another guidebook that aims to stimulate growth among local businesses and tourism within the Klang Valley.

It focuses on what locals and people who have been localised will want, with less on over-popularised areas and tourist spots.

On domestic tourism and its importance during these difficult times, Yap explained: “About 70 to 80% of people are not from here, but rather are people who have been localised.”

Research has revealed that many people, especially those from the city, know little about hidden attractions within their own localities.

Bluedale’s travel guides are thus developed based on readers’ experiences and suggestions.

“They are intended for the masses, that includes any nationality within Klang Valley, ” Yap said, adding that these travel guides were distributed to Tourism Malaysia offices nationwide.

In 2020, Bluedale published its 38th edition of KL The Guide, which is also available as an e-book.

The company realised that it was time to step up its game digitally.

Apart from providing these hassle-free e-guides, the company has turned the guidebooks into mobile applications that can be downloaded via Google Play Store or Apple Store.

All this has been made possible through readers’ contributions and feedback while the company works alongside federal, state and local authorities to promote domestic tourism.

Bluedale has also gained through its association with tourism authorities in countries such as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

Uzbekistan The Guide, for example, highlights the mysterious yet beautiful Central Asian country known for its great architecture. More than 100 historical sites in the cities of Uzbekistan are featured in the guide.

On top of the comprehensive information packed into the travel guides, Bluedale provides further insights on various places of attraction via its social media platforms.

With its latest project being a spa and wellness guide in collaboration with the Association of Wellness Spas, Bluedale aspires to work with more organisers and agencies as it ventures into areas beyond tourism.

What’s more, readers are able to contribute content to the publication digitally.

Additionally, posters promoting KL The Guide have been getting more attention these days.

The catchy phrase “Hey, I’ve been spotted by KL The Guide” accompanied by a QR code will lead those curious directly to the app.

For details, call 03-7886 9219 or email

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